As its name suggests, it is a device that measures carbon monoxide levels, sending an alert to the user when harmful levels for humans are reached. This gas results from combustion and is poisonous when exposed to high levels for a long time.
In many homes, monoxide detectors coexist with smoke detectors. Although they are intended for the same purpose, their differences lie in their sensors since, as you may have discovered, one focuses on smoke and the other on CO specifically. However, both can give us a reasonable margin of time to evacuate the house in case of fire.
Detector design and installation
The Netatmo CO detector has an elegant and minimalist design, surrounded by a strip of metal cells, which is where the presence of this gas is detected. LED lights are located at the top of this detector. When abnormal levels of CO are reached, the red light turns on. The color changes to orange when there is a fault with the sensor. If it is green, everything typically works, indicating that it is on and operational. This light will flash every few minutes. In the center of the device is the silence button, which we can press when we want to stop the alarm.
Installation is straightforward. We have to press the Power button under the detector and use the guide, screws, and plugs to attach it to the wall. To do this, we will have to use a drill, or take advantage of a hole in a painting, as has been the case in our case. The most efficient place for its placement is where gases are not perceived directly. If our house has several floors, the ideal would be to acquire a detector for each foot.
Software and operation
To avoid leaving our ears with the experiment, we have used headphones with active noise cancellation since the alarm beeps up to 85 dB, so if we are very close, it will burst our eardrums. Then we used a fan to ventilate the room until the detector stopped beeping.
It only took a few seconds for the alarm to go off, bringing the incense as close as possible to the metal cells of the detector. After that, practically instantly, the notification appeared on the phone. It must be remembered that the situation generated with the incense to verify that the alarm works is not a real example.
When performing the first installation of the detector, we will have to download the Netatmo Home + Security app and create an account. The app will automatically recognize the detector if it is turned on. The app also works with other Netatmo products, whether they are security cameras, sensors, or thermostats, among others. In addition, as far as the detector is concerned, it is compatible with HomeKit, so if you have an Apple device, you can create custom routines with the other devices connected to the ecosystem. Unfortunately, the detector does not work with Google Home or Alexa. However, it is a detector that does not require a Hub or additional subscription services.
The app will help us to monitor the behavior of the detector. However, we do not have the option to configure almost any parameter of the detector, and it will simply serve to alert us in case of excessive levels of CO. When high concentrations of carbon monoxide are detected, the sensor will loop four loud beeps every few seconds, and the LEDs will turn red. In addition to alerting us, the app will give us a series of instructions:
- Open the doors and windows.
- Turn off the combustion devices.
- Evacuate the place.
- Call the emergency services.
When the CO has been evacuated, we will receive an alert on the mobile.
How does a carbon monoxide detector work?
A carbon monoxide detector is not much of a mystery. You buy it, put it on the wall, and hope the alarm never goes off during its useful life. The one from Netatmo has intelligent functions; that is, it can be connected to the phone so that we receive alerts. The good news is that no matter where you are, you’ll get real-time notifications when harmful levels of CO are detected. This is possible because we must have a Netatmo account to make it work, synchronizing the detector and receiving alerts anywhere.
Detectors from Netatmo, and the like, have an electrochemical carbon monoxide sensor. This means that to detect the presence of the gas, they use a solution with electrodes that react to changes in the electrical current when they come into contact with CO. Depending on the level of the reaction, an output directly proportional to it is sent to the user.
There are several types of carbon monoxide detectors, and the vast majority depend on the environment in which they are installed. In addition, they measure levels in particles per million (ppm). In Spain, per Royal Decree 102/2011, the limit value for a maximum daily average of eight hours without harming health is 10 mg/m3 (8.7 ppm). The Netatmo detector alerts us when the values reach 50 ppm, the legal limit and a level not recommended, especially for people with heart disease. It all depends on the time we expose ourselves to this gas.
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